Well, I got home from work Friday to find a card in the mail from the high priest group leader in my ward. Some of the card referred to the incident with my home teacher that I wrote about last week. Apparently someone contacted my ward about my questioning of the church! The only people that I talked to about this was through an e-mail to my friend who is 25 and single who moved from my ward to Utah a while ago, and I e-mailed my LDS Austrian friend (host sister from my year as an exchange student) whom I doubt called my ward, but you never know. I thought I could talk to them as trusted friends and get their thoughts without this happening, but obviously not.
Here is the card I got.
The front of the card has a sailboat and says "Destiny is a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." Winston Churchill
Last Sunday (your home teacher) asked to speak with me. He was very distraught about something he had said to you at church. He went on to explain what had happened and as to what I felt he should do. I told him to apologize to you. I hope he has done so.
I sense somehow that you have been so offended by his remarks and perhaps others that you have become discouraged and angry. Even to the point of questioning your membership.
Let me just say this. The moment you decided to go to the Temple and take out your endowments, Satan began to attack you. I hope you can look back in your life and see that this is so. He will use others in your life to try to stop your eternal progression. He will beat your house down in every way he can. Do not be surprised at this. He is very clever and very effective at what he does. Please do not be fooled. Please forgive (your home teacher) and others that say hurtful things. Please forgive those that agree with how evil the church is, for they are used as a pawn by Satan to discourage you as well. Please forgive yourself for allowing people to influence what you know to be true. For in your heart of hearts you know the church is true. You have felt the spirit touch you in the past to witness to you that it is true.
My heart is full of love for you and your sweet family. Don't worry about these things of Satan. Love your little ones, love your husband, he is a good man. Be patient with members of the church who don't do well. Take your sorrows and offenses to Heavenly Father and ask Him to heal your broken heart. I promise you now that He will assist you in this quest.
I am so sorry this has happened to you. I am not surprised...at all. God & Christ love you so much AND Satan knows that so he will do everything to stop you. Deny the voices in your head. Say - STOP it! Stop it! Stop it! all the day long. (He underlined that part)
As always I send my love and best personal regards. May you feel the love of Christ in your life. May the angels protect you from Satan's grasp. This too will pass...I promise.
All my love,
Bro. ( )
P.S. Call me if you want to talk about this."
Here is my response letter. I haven't mailed it yet but I probably will today. Any thoughts or advice? My hubby thinks I should just ignore and throw away the card I got, and not respond to it at all. He says it sounds like fear tactics and he thinks it's lame. However, I wanted to let them know that nobody at church offended me, as they so obviously wish were the case, and show that in my eyes Satan never did any deceiving in order to not let me get to the temple. It was all because of the directive from the church to deny me my recommend if my husband didn't "allow" it.
Dear Bro. ( ),
I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful card. I really appreciated it. I have never been offended by anyone at church. I was very irritated by (my home teacher) not believing me when I talked to him. After having taught him in Gospel Essentials for over 3 years, I feel like I know him fairly well, and I’m frankly surprised that anyone would feel like it’d be a good idea to assign him as home teacher to any part-member family. Thankfully this is no longer my concern.
In response to your sense that I’ve been offended by others to become discouraged and angry to the point of questioning my membership…I’m not quite sure why you would assume this. I have never felt that way.
I have been praying a lot and studying the gospel, just as the scriptures admonish me to do to confirm truth to myself. I assure you I am not in Satan’s grasp nor have I ever been. I have never heard the church is evil from any source.
As for my eternal progression…You may not realize that I desired to attend the temple to take out my endowment over 6 years ago. I went through the temple prep class and I was so excited and anxious to finally reach this special milestone. After the class my husband and I were asked to the bishop’s office for my first interview to get my recommend. It was during this interview that I first learned that the church will not allow me to attend the temple if I don’t have written permission from my husband. Dart was shocked that the church would require a righteous, good, grown woman to get permission for something righteous she wants to do, therefore he couldn’t and wouldn’t give his permission. This has been the only evidence in my life of others trying to stop my eternal progression, and it originated in the gospel. One question I’ve always had but have been afraid to ask: If I had been born a man, would I have been required to get written permission from my non-member wife if I wanted to attend the temple?
As you can see from my attendance at church and my constant striving to be good…not even this has caused me to have a broken heart. I can see no evidence where Satan has tempted me. I am taking the temple prep class again with my sister Tonya. It’s been difficult to coordinate schedules with her as we juggle her 60 hour work week, my 40 hour work week, and our family lives with 3 kids each. Neither of us feel a pressure to hurry, as we know God loves us regardless, and we are doing our best.
Thank you for your thoughts and concern. You may rest assured that I’ve never felt God’s personal love for me and my family more than I do right now.